QUEENSVILLE, Ontario — On Oct. 3, 1984, Christine Jessop, 9, walked off her school bus around 3:50 p.m. She stopped to get the mail before heading to her home.
The house was empty when she arrived. Her father, Robert Jessop, had recently started serving an 18-month sentence at a Toronto detention center for mishandling funds. Janet Jessop, her mother, was running errands with Christine’s older brother, Kenneth, 14.
Witnesses saw Christine walking to a nearby grocery store to buy bubble gum between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. It was the last sighting of Christine alive.
Shortly after, Janet Jessop and Kenneth arrived home. Christine’s book bag sat on the kitchen counter, but the young girl was nowhere to be found. Her parents began calling friends and searching the neighborhood, including a nearby park. No one had seen the young girl.
Between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., Christine’s mother called the police. The York Regional Police immediately launched a massive search for the girl, but all attempts to locate Christine had failed.
Christine’s birthday on Nov. 29, 1984, came and went that year without Christine. Her body was found on Dec. 31, 1984, in a wooded field about 30 miles from her Queensville home. She had been raped and stabbed repeatedly.
Seminal fluid was found on her panties, but in 1984 there was no way to identify its origin. The arrival of DNA testing did not come until 1985. However, the police stored the panties in an evidence locker, hoping that advanced technology would be used in the future.
Not long after Christine disappeared, the cops zeroed in on Guy Paul Morin, 23, Christine’s neighbor. They felt he fit the profile of Christine’s killer, who would have been in his mid-20s at the time of the murder. Morin was a bit of a loner who lived with his mother and father and worked at Interiors International Limited, a local furniture store. As odd as he may have been, Morin did not have a criminal background before the murder.
An Ontario Center of Forensic Sciences technician testified that Morin’s car’s red fibers came from a sweater Christine was wearing that fateful day. The prosecution claimed this linked Morin to Christine. Furthermore, two jailhouse snitches, including one identified as “Mr. X,” testified Morin confessed to killing Christine.
How the jury saw these snitches as credible is beyond me. It’s effortless to lie on the stand. It’s also straightforward to say someone told you something, whether the truth or a lie. I want to know: did these two snitches have something to gain by testifying for the prosecution?
After two trials, Guy Paul Morin was convicted of Christine’s rape and murder on July 23, 1992, and sentenced to life in prison.
That should have been it. There was just one small problem.
DNA testing in 1995 revealed Morin’s DNA did not match what was found on Christine’s panties. After an appeal based on the DNA report, Morin was set free and awarded nearly $1.5 million.
So, who killed Christine Jessop? Well, that remains a mystery, and the case is unsolved.
In June 1992, Kenneth Jessop testified for the defense at Morin’s trial that he and two of his friends – a pair of brothers – had sex with Christine numerous times, starting when she was two years old until two years before her murder. He was seven when it started, and the brothers were 9 and 11. However, investigators ruled him out.
The cops were quick to point the finger at Morin without any physical evidence leading them his way. I’m sure the public’s pressure to capture the killer had much to do with it. There was a huge public outcry for justice after Christine’s murder.
Is Christine’s case related to other young girls murdered in this area around the same time? Sharin Morningstar Keenan, also nine, was abducted in January 1983. Her body was found the following February. Alison Parrot disappeared in July 1986 at the age of 11. Nicole Morin, age 8, disappeared from Etobicoke, Toronto, Ontario, in 1985. She remains missing to this day.
The fact remains that Christine’s killer is still at large. Has he killed since 1984?
Updated March 2023